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The Women’s Committee was founded in 1883 by Elizabeth Duane Gillespie, a great-granddaughter of Benjamin Franklin. Mrs. Gillespie was a notable Philadelphian in her own right who organized many philanthropic endeavors including the Women’s Pavilion at the 1876 Centennial Exhibition. The present Women’s Committee continues that tradition of community service as an independently chartered volunteer organization dedicated to supporting the Museum.

Today’s Women’s Committee has 45 active members who produce events such as the annual nationally acclaimed Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show, as well as opening night galas for special exhibitions. New members are nominated based on available spots. Over the years the Committee has also managed projects such as the biennial Photography Competition (now on hold but photos are available for sale) Small Indulgences, ArtWorks, a cookbook, a greeting card competition, HolidayCard, and Form in Art. The Committee currently funds numerous projects and programs, including the Museum Guides program and Art Splash.

Craft Show

Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show

The Women’s Committee produces the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show, the single largest annual fund-raising event for the Museum. The money raised is used to purchase works of art and craft for the permanent collections, fund conservation projects, and support exhibitions and programs for the Museum. Known as the nation’s finest retail craft exhibition and sale, the Craft Show presents the work of approximately 195 of the most dynamic craft artists in the United States. It is held at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in early November.

For information about this year’s Craft Show, visit

For more information, please contact Craft Show by phone at 215-684-7930 or by e-mail at .